Dar es Salaam. Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) Director General Hamza Johari has said that the Embraer 190 (5H-FJH) aircraft which was being held in Tanzania cannot be used as collateral to pay debts ex-employees of Fastjet Tanzania because they don’t belong to the airliner.
Johari made the remarks after 105 former employees of Fastjet Tanzania expressed fears that the 5 billion shillings they were demanding from the airline would not be paid after the plane was revoked and cleared to depart.
Fastjet suspended operations in Tanzania in 2018 with employees claiming unpaid dues, which would have prevented the company’s Embraer 190 (5H-FJH) plane from leaving the country by court order until the money was cleared. be paid.
One of the former employees, Mummy Katolila, told Mwananchi that the plane’s registration had been revoked and that he was ready to leave the country at any time, without the workers being paid.
She said in March 2022 the plane was cleared to change registration and leave the country as it was still operated by parent company Fastjet PLC, which still operates in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
“This has caused the former employees to lose hope of ever being paid. We are asking the President to ask the TCCAA not to allow the aircraft to leave the country until the employees have paid their dues,” said mom said.
Commenting on the case, TCCAA Director Hamza Johari said the plane was still in the country because it owed the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) but not to pay staff.
“This plane does not belong to Fastjet. It was leased by Fastjet, so the owner wants it back. So it’s best that the employees continue to pursue their claims with the insolvency service, once the assets of the organization sold, they will get paid,” he said.
Fastjet Tanzania was founded in 2011 as Fly540 Tanzania, a Kenya-based subsidiary of Fly540. Using a Bombardier CRJ100 and a Dash 8-100, he flew to eight destinations in Tanzania and two in Kenya.
In June 2012, Fly540 was acquired by Rubicon Diversified Investments, which intended to merge all Fly540 operations into its new Fastjet business. Fly540 Tanzania suspended operations on October 13, 2012 before being rebranded as Fastjet Tanzania.
Fastjet Tanzania began operations as Fastjet’s first operating base in Africa, with flights departing from Julius Nyerere International Airport from 29 November 2012.
The first flights operated successfully between Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro, and between Dar es Salaam and Mwanza. Other routes were to be added soon, both domestically and to other East African destinations.
By August 2015, it had come to operate domestic routes linking Dar es Salaam to Mwanza, Kilimanjaro and Mbeya, and four international routes from Dar es Salaam to Johannesburg, Harare, Entebbe, Lilongwe and Lusaka.
Ultimately unable to generate enough cash to cover its debts, the airline was declared insolvent and a liquidator appointed on December 21, 2019.